The Steve Yzerman effect: Tampa Bay Lightning reports "spike" in ticket sales
The Tampa Bay Lightning reported a "spike" in season-ticket sales and season-ticket renewals on the heels of naming Steve Yzerman the team's new general manager.
Numbers were not available, but team spokesman Bill Wickett called the increase somewhere between moderate and substantial. He said it was more notable because ticket sales usually lag around a holiday weekend.
"There is no question that Steve Yzerman being named general manager instantly heightened fan interest and created credibility throughout the NHL and, most importantly, for us in the Tampa Bay market," Wickett said.
Even if the boost is relative to seasonally slow sales, the Lightning could use the boost. The team's average announced attendance has fallen from a high of 20,509 in 2005-06, when it was second in the league as it defended its 2004 Stanley Cup title, to 15,497 last season, 21st in the 30-team league.
In other news, the Lightning faces the Blackhawks in a Sept. 22 preseason game in Winnipeg.